Has the USA become the next Sodom & Gomorrah with the passing of the Equality of Marriage Act? That is a good question. And, will the Christians be persecuted when the clergy refuses to perform ceremonies that involve same sex marriage couples?
The question may very well be yes but not simply because of this one particular sin of homosexuality. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because there was a litany of sins (PLURAL) and God provided his destructive judgment against the cities for this "list of grievances".
Same Sex Marriage - Today
Refusal to provide "services" in such ritual wedding rites have already happened and the militant homosexual reprisals have begun to take shape. And, the news articles describe the tragedy American Christian businesses and churches are facing because of the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality and their refusal to act in complicity with their sins.
Millionaire Couple Is Suing Church to Hold Their Wedding
Christian Baker Sued for Refusing to Bake for Gay Wedding
The matter has gotten so out of control it has become tragically comical. These actions would be akin to a Neo-Nazi Group suing a Jewish singer to perform songs at a Nazi rally. Obviously, "freedom of religion" in the United States should be protected under the the First Amendment. Government deciding whether people acted "rightly" or "wrongly" with regard to matters of faith is a very slippery slope and will only lead to a quagmire of political and religious chaos and fighting.
There can be little doubt that the Bible no longer has any real meaning for society at large and many so-called Christians do not share (or believe in) the same principles and teachings that Jesus and his Apostles (particularly Paul) had on matters of morality and keeping of God's laws, teachings and precepts.
So, what are the consequences of not following the teachings of God's laws, teachings and precepts. As we learned from history, the answer is judgment.
What Were the Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and Why Were These Cities Destroyed?
Sin of Inhospitable Behavior
Reading Genesis chapters 18 and 19, we see that God refers to an "outcry" and to "sins" but the writings in this section does not detail what the transgressions were. However, we do see that there are other places in the Bible and other religious writings that the sins are enumerated.
However, the Talmud and Seffer YaHashar recount the many sins regarding the way that Sodom and Gomorrah treated visitors and strangers to their cities. In several instances, using a Sodomite bed, strangers who were too short for the bed were "stretched" to fit it and those who were too tall were cut to pieces.
In yet another circumstance, a visiting girl was covered with honey and hung from the city walls until she was eaten by bees. Being a particularly gruesome crime it is no wonder that God heard an "outcry" against the people of the city. It is even possible that the guardian angels appointed to the people there may have also complained about the behavior of the inhabitants.
Other Sins Are Indicated by the Prophet Jeremiah, Amos, Ezekiel and Jude
Lying, adultery and strengthening the hands of evildoers are the other transgressions mentioned in the Bible. (Jeremiah 23:14) In another passage, God witnesses the women inhabitants of Jerusalem (like Sodom and Gomorrah) oppress the poor and crush the needy. (Amos 4:1-11) Ezekiel even wrote that God saw the women as arrogant, haughty gluttons, and "unconcerned" (apathetic or lacking empathy) for others, did not help the poor and needy, and who were idle and engaged in sinful conduct much like the women of Sodom. (Ezekiel 16: 49, 50)
Jude wrote of the fornication committed in Sodom and Gomorrah for which God also condemned the cities. (Jude 1:7)
While "other sins" may have not been fully enumerated elsewhere, it is generally considered that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah extend beyond the list given here. These may also include murder, theft, blasphemy just to name a few sins and iniquities committed therein.
Acts of Homosexuality
No doubt God and his angels witnessed the sins of homosexuality and the resident men of these cities spoke plainly of their desire to engage in homosexuality and homosexual rape. Both of these sins - the sin of homosexuality - is condemned in the Bible. (Leviticus 18:22) It is understood that the sin committed by men in the practice of homosexuality also apply to women.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:26-28)Even though the writings concerning the homosexual topic in the conversations is apparent, it was important to have been included in the account of the destruction of the cities in order to convey to the reader the depravity of the behavior of the residents. When God gave these people over to shameful lusts, God was allowing them to choose evil. Of course, God was also keeping track of the sins because sin is treason against God and must be answered with justice or through the forgiving grace of Jesus.
Exhortation to Avoid Judgment
Of course, Moses issued the following warning to the nation of Israel:
Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. (Deuteronomy 32:32,33)Later, this became the case when the Hebrew people went into captivity and the land had become to be known as a wasteland. It wouldn't be until 1948 when the land of Israel was noted as blossoming with life. This was promised by the Prophet Isaiah:
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
|The ashen ruins of Sodom. Nowhere can vegetation be seen growing in this plain since its destruction.|
Jesus in the Bible also indicates a future time of destruction likening his Second Coming to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:
"Likewise as it was in the days of Lot—they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17: 28-30)